Woman, 2 boys rescued from waters of Green Bay released from hospital

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 12:30 PM

STURGEON BAY, Wis. — A woman, her son and another boy were rescued by a U. S. Coast Guard helicopter after spending the night adrift in their kayaks on the waters of Green Bay, officials said Friday.

The three were plucked by the helicopter crew from the Michigan waters off the western tip of the Door County peninsula shortly after daybreak Friday, about 12 hours after they were reported missing, according to the Coast Guard.

Door County sheriff's officials identified the three as Allison Alter, 43, her son, Zach Suri, 9, of Austin, Texas, and Thomas Alter, 9, of Highland Park, Illinois, a relative. They were treated for mild hypothermia at Bay Area Medical Center. Hospital spokesman John Hofer said the woman and boys were later released.

The trio went missing after launching their two kayaks from Nicolet Bay in Peninsula State Park about 3 p.m. Thursday. The three planned to paddle to Eagle Harbor in Ephraim, sheriff's officials said. The kayak rental company called authorities when they did not return.

Eight law enforcement agencies, including the Coast Guard, searched into the night for the three. They were spotted by a C-130 search plane from Canada about 10 miles from Chambers Island in Michigan waters about 6 a.m. Friday. They were located about 14 miles from where they launched their kayaks Thursday afternoon, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Tyler Goss. A Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted the woman and boys from their kayaks into the chopper.

Staying in their kayaks was a smart move, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Stanley Rittner.

"Any time you're out on a boat or kayak, you always stay with the boat," Rittner said. "As soon as you get in the water you get cold."

Rittner said the wind Thursday generated waves of 1 to 2 feet in Green Bay.

"People go out not realizing how fast conditions can change in the big water," said Door County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Farley. Allison Alter had tethered her kayak to the boys' kayak, Farley said.

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